In my last post, I talked about coming to terms with personal branding and how I’m currently dealing with imposter syndrome. At the beginning of my career when I first started as a freelance writer, I used to have a portfolio of my work on my blog. Ever since I read that a portfolio was important to land you jobs, it became a permanent page on my navigation tab. I’m not sure it helped but I did my best to keep it as updated as possible regularly.
But then almost 3 years ago, I started a business. It was so crazy that I was falling in and out with clients that I didn’t have time to keep track of my work. Suffice to say, I didn’t have a portfolio or rather it wasn’t up to date. Almost 3 years ago, I’m about to build a proper portfolio for myself and I’m struggling seriously.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling with the best way to visualize all of my social media work. I created a new subdomain to host all of my work across my various skills. But when I got to the aspect of social media, I got stuck. It wasn’t like I didn’t have reports or I wasn’t tracking my work for the past two years, I just didn’t know how to compile all of these data in a presentable manner.
Anyways, a few days ago, I stumbled on a branding and social media website and I’ll like to think that it solved my current predicament.
Regardless of whatever career you are in, a portfolio is very important.
It helps you document all of your skills and the experiences you have gathered with those skills. If you ever need to pivot or upskill, there’s enough data to guide your decisions.
Before I started building my portfolio, I wrote down all my skills and narrowed them down to the three major ones I had enough experience in. In fact, by the time, I was done building my portfolio site, I realized that I didn’t even have enough experience with one of them. So I narrowed it down again. At the end of the day, I was left with two major skills; social media marketing and SEO Copywriting. All I needed to do was populate the site and launch it.
Building a portfolio helps you decide what skills need your urgent attention.
While I might have email marketing experiences here and there because I know how to create a strategy, use the software and send marketing emails, I haven’t done it solely for a brand yet. So this means that it is now a priority. I need to get enough experience doing email marketing for brands to qualify as a skill in my portfolio.
Probably the biggest benefit of building a career portfolio asides from helping you land more jobs is that it helps you overcome imposter syndrome.
I promise you, this is not a drill. Coming to terms with all the work you have been doing for a while helps appreciate your craft even more. It helps you appreciate where you’re coming from and inspires you to make even more progress. You might not be where you want to be right now but you sure as hell aren’t where you were a few years ago. I started my carer as a freelance writer in 2013 and now it’s 2019 and I’m currently a Content and Social Media Strategist. I might not be the most skilled marketer at the moment. But I’ve made so much progress and I’m hella proud of it.
Also, it’s important to keep your records. Your memory can and will fail you. Keep your records where it would be protected from damage such as Google Drive for instance. Whenever you need it, you could easily reach out for it and it would be intact.
Finally, when you finally get around to building your portfolio (which you should definitely do this weekend), publicize on social media.
Post it on your website or blog and attach it to your LinkedIn profile. If you want to take it a step further, switch up the format. Create slide decks, post it on Slideshare and share the link on your LinkedIn profile. Just make sure it is easily accessible for recruiters and potential clients.
I’m currently enjoying building my portfolio again and I can’t wait to launch it.